Winner of the award for Best Case in Entrepreneurship track in The Case Centre Anniversary Conference 2014

Building a Business from Nature: Kari W. Block’s Entrepreneurial Journey

Building a Business from Nature: Kari W. Block’s Entrepreneurial Journey
Case Code: LDEN092
Case Length: 08 Pages
Period: 1990-2014
Pub Date: 2014
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.300
Organization : Earth-Kind
Industry: Agriculture, Farm Equipment, Ware Housing
Countries : USA
Themes: Entrepreneurship
Building a Business from Nature: Kari W. Block’s Entrepreneurial Journey
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


Earth-Kind, headquartered in Bismarck, North Dakota, in the USA, was founded in 1993 by Kari Warberg Block (Kari). Kari’s entrepreneurial journey started when she began selling potpourris and organic produce on her farm. She then went into manufacturing, selling a totally agriculture-based rodent repellant – Fresh Cab – that provided a non-messy, environmentally friendly solution to the rodent menace that plagues farms and homes the world over. In the process she also invested in the community by employing handicapped people and supporting family farms.

Kari began in a small way, working out of her home and involving her children and neighbors. But, by 2013, the business had grown tremendously and had a cumulative sale of US$40 million and annual revenue of US$ 5 million. In recognition of her achievement in running an environmentally and socially responsible business, Kari received awards and recognitions from several reputed organizations. Kari proved that a woman could be soft, caring, kind, and capable of helping humanity and still be a strong person.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • How entrepreneurs go through an evolutionary process in their journey
  • Why one model does not describe the framework of development of all entrepreneurial ventures; the uniqueness of each venture
  • The capabilities entrepreneurs require at different phases of their journey
  • How entrepreneurs build organizations using environmentally friendly solutions to common problems
  • How leaders can create a super-ordinate goal for their people



Rodent ,Repellant, Agriculture-based, Sustainable, Lean, Green, Environmental–friendly, Community, E&Y Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program, Earth-Kind, Fresh Cab, Dayton Hudson, Environment Protection Agency, John Deere, Green America

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